Back Road Routes to Avoid Summer Saturday Traffic

Over the years we have noticed that some of our summer guests arrive late, grumpy, exhausted, and exasperated by the traffic jams in and around Conway, SC. If you are arriving on Saturday in the summer, we suggest you find an alternate route. Generally, it is better to come to Georgetown than to come via Conway and Myrtle Beach to Litchfield. It is a few miles longer but takes less time and hassle. If you are coming from Columbia, you can simply come via Sumter, Manning, Andrews, and Georgetown to Litchfield. If you are a little more adventurous, prefer a little better scenery, and have a navigator, you can try our preferred back road route which is written out below.

These are very precise measured directions. Ninety-nine percent of the people who have used them for years have succeeded. One percent storm in our office swearing they are mistaken. Don't be the one percent.

  • If on I-20 in Columbia, take it east to mile marker 81. Exit right onto Road 53. The exit number is 82.
  • At the stop sign at the top of the exit ramp, turn right. In two-tenths of a mile, you will come to a dead-end with a stop sign. Turn left. Go about a half-mile and "Screaming Eagle Road" will fork off to the right. Take the right fork. Set your odometer and go about 8 miles on "Screaming Eagle Road" to a dead end. Turn right. This is McCord's Ferry Road. Set odometer and go 8.5 miles.
  • Go under to overpass and immediately turn left, east on Highway 76. Set odometer. Go about 18 miles. Just past a stoplight, there is a sign saying "Florence-Conway." Yield here to oncoming traffic, and take a left. Set your odometer and go 15.3 miles.
  • Turn right onto 527 (there is an old station on your left at the place where you turn right). This is the road to Kingstree. Set odometer and go to Kingstree, to the stoplight. It is about 26 miles. You will cross over I-95 before getting to Kingstree.
  • At the stoplight go straight across. You are on Academy Street. Go two blocks and the street veers almost 90 degrees to the right. Stay on Academy. Go to the second stoplight and turn left onto Main Street. Set odometer and go 9.8 miles on Main Street, which becomes Highway 261.
  • If it is raining, be very careful after Kingstree. There may be some standing water in some spots.
  • After 9.8 miles there is a fork in the road. Take the right fork, toward Nesmith, and set your odometer. (Remember what Yogi Berra said. "When you come to a fork in the road, take it.") Go about 16 miles and there is a stop sign. Go straight across and you are on Highway 51, which leads to Georgetown.
  • At Georgetown take Highway 17 North to Litchfield Beach, about 14 miles.
    • (HINT: Upon entering Georgetown, you can save a minute or two by turning left - about a 45-degree turn at the Scotchman convenience store. This road goes by Georgetown Hospital and is a shortcut to Highway 17. At the traffic light on 17, you'll be taking a left and that will be Highway 17, headed north.)

Bypass of Conway & Myrtle Beach from I-95

  • Exit from I-95 at Dillon and follow Rt. 301 to Latta, then 501 and Marion Bypass.
  • Take 41 A (41 A on map but sign says 41 ALT) and follow it to Rt. 41 at Centenary.
  • Follow Rt. 41 south about 33.36 miles to Rhems.
  • From Rhems take Rt. 51 about 19.45 miles to Georgetown.
  • From Georgetown take Highway 17 north to Litchfield Beach.
    • (HINT: Upon entering Georgetown, you can save a minute or two by turning left - about a 45-degree turn at the Scotchman convenience store. This road goes by Georgetown Hospital and is a shortcut to Highway 17. At the traffic light on 17, you'll be taking a left and that will be Highway 17, headed north.)
  • It may seem like you have gone a long way out of your way, but it is just a little over 15 miles difference coming this way instead of going through Conway and Myrtle Beach.

Estimated Mileage to Pawleys Island, SC

  • Atlanta, GA - 375 miles / 6 hours
  • Baltimore, MD - 506 miles / 8 hours
  • Boston, MA¬† 909 miles / 15 hours
  • Charlotte, NC - 225 miles / 4 hours
  • Chattanooga, TN - 494 miles / 8 hours
  • Chicago, IL - 965 miles / 15 hours
  • Cincinnati, OH - 674 miles / 11 hours
  • Miami, FL - 656 miles / 11 hours
  • New York, NY - 696 miles / 12 hours
  • Nashville, TN - 606 miles / 10 hours
  • Philadelphia, PA - 607 miles / 10 hours
  • Pittsburgh, PA - 648 miles / 11 hours
  • Richmond, VA - 350 miles / 6 hours
  • Savannah, GA - 180 miles / 3 hours
  • Washington, DC - 460 miles / 8 hours